Home vs. Gym Workouts: Which One Is Right For You?

A woman doing pushups on the ground with a dumbbell for home vs gym workouts main header image.

Home vs. gym workouts: which one is right for you? In this post, we will explore the advantages of both to help make the decision easier. 

As a mom, initiating and maintaining a fitness routine comes with many challenges. It’s important to figure out what fits into your lifestyle and schedule.

What are you more likely to stick to? Can you still reap the benefits of working out if you’re doing it at home? Each person’s journey is unique, and should be personalized to fit YOUR needs. You might come to find that the best workout is the one that works for you

This post does contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I receive a small compensation if a purchase is made.

Benefits of Working Out

We all know there are a multitude of reasons to work out. Not only has physical activity been associated with decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and mortality, but it offers mental health benefits as well. 

In 2018, a large U.S. study concluded that those who were physically active experienced less of a mental burden. Further, it has been shown to improve mood and promote positive changes in those with depression and anxiety.  

Therefore, if anyone can benefit from working out – it’s us moms, carrying the physical and mental load of motherhood. We carry a baby for 9 months, which leads to significant changes to our body and our mental health. 

Plus, there’s plenty of research that suggests a short 30-minute workout a few times a week is sufficient enough to reap the health benefits- and promote weight changes.

self-care as a mom quote - prioritizing ourselves to be better moms

Advantages of Gym Workouts

Access to More Equipment

Of course, at a gym you’ll likely have access to a lot more equipment than you would at home – even if you already have a pretty nice home gym setup. Access to heavier weights and different exercise machines may promote an increase in muscle mass, if that is your goal.

If you’re someone who gets bored easily and requires a lot of variety, the gym will have a lot more options to choose from. 


There are certain people who cannot find the motivation to workout unless they are at a gym, and need that accountability. Seeing other people working out, or working out with a friend, can be very encouraging. 

Having that accountability has been shown to improve fitness performance. Plus, if you’re paying money for a gym membership you might find that you’re more likely to develop a consistent fitness routine.

Group Fitness Classes

Group fitness classes offer many advantages, while also providing that accountability aspect. The social aspect of it can help with the feelings of loneliness we often experience as moms. 

If the majority of your day consists of social isolation, being around other women might improve your mental health. You might even meet some other mom friends. 

Women doing yoga at a group fitness class for losing weight after baby number 2.

Dedicated “Me” Time

As mothers, most of the physical and mental load involved with our household and children falls on us. Getting away from your children or just the responsibilities of motherhood, and finding some dedicated “me” time can be much needed. The gym might be just the place to do that. 

Don’t let that mom guilt get in the way of prioritizing you and your health. If the gym aligns with more of what you want out of a fitness experience, you should have the right to do so (without feeling guilty). 

Advantages of At Home Workouts

Convenience and Flexibility

The convenience of at-home workouts cannot be ignored, especially if you struggle to find the time to workout as a busy mom. Eliminating the drive to and from the gym can add up to a lot more time to get things done around the house or spend time with your children. 

It’s easier to find time during the day or night to perform a quick fitness routine at home than it is at the gym. Plus, there are so many options available these days – apps, YouTube, Beachbody, Peloton… the list goes on and on.


Most at-home workouts are either FREE or a lot less money than the cost of a gym membership. There are endless YouTube videos online, some specifically designed for women

Privacy and Comfort

At home, you have the luxury and space that is entirely your own. No worrying about someone watching while you workout, or waiting on others to use equipment. 

Moms, or women in general, feel self-conscious with their bodies. Working out at home eliminates the fear of being judged, and allows us to focus on our fitness goals. 

Can Workout With Your Kids

If you do choose working out at home, there’s the conundrum of if you should do it with your kids or during their naptimes. Personally, I have learned that I would rather spend my nap time doing other things than working out. Plus, kids love to get involved and “pretend” to workout as well. 

Further, it can be very beneficial for them to see their mother prioritizing herself, and making exercise a priority. 

Another option is performing mini-workouts throughout the day– for those moms who find it difficult to even find time to workout at home (or get interrupted frequently). Research has shown that a few small workouts throughout the day can be just as beneficial as a longer, consecutive one.

A mom and daugher working out together; home vs gym workouts

Home vs Gym Workouts: Comparing the Two

There is no right or wrong here, as both can be a part of a healthy fitness journey.

Take some time and ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do you have time to go to the gym? 
  • Do you want or need to get away from your kids for awhile?
  • Is it too inconvenient to buy all the equipment for at-home workouts – especially if the goal is to build muscle? 
  • How do you want to spend your time? 
  • What is best for your mental health? 
  • Which kinds of workouts do you like, or feel like you’ll stick to the best?
  • Do you need the accountability that comes with being at a gym?

Finding the Right Balance

For significant results, both options require a bit of discipline and consistency. For example, it might be more beneficial to workout 5-6 days at home versus 1-2 days at the gym.  

Here are some situations that might arise, and ideas to find the best solution for you!

Don’t have the time for the gym, but need the accountability.

  • Try a 30-90 day YouTube program with a set schedule, and a fitness trainer to follow for motivation.
  • Find other people doing the same workouts as you – by joining a Facebook group or finding other Instagram users. 
  • Get an accountability coach. For example, Beachbody coaches have live workout Zooms you can join in on and Facebook community groups as well. 
  • Make lists and write down your goals for the week.

Want to go to the gym, but need childcare.

  • Find a gym that offers childcare.
  • Ask family and friends, or take turns with other moms for babysitting.
  • Go early in the morning while your husband is still home.

Need a lot of variety to stay motivated.

  • Combine both approaches. Go to the gym on the days that make sense, and workout at home the other days.
  • Select a different at-home workout each time – YouTube has endless options from Pilates, yoga, dancing, weight training.
  • Incorporate at-home workouts with a walk or jog outside.

It’s more convenient to workout at home, but have no equipment.

Time to invest in some equipment based on your likes and preferences! It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run, and ultimately be much cheaper than a gym membership.

Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells: My personal favorite at-home weights, these dumbbells don’t take up a lot of space and the weights range from 0-52.5 lbs.

A set of adjustable dumbbells next to resistance bands.

Resistance Bands: They’re cheap, affordable, and increase the challenge of most workouts.

Yoga MatA thick yoga mat that can fold up easily should be a staple for your at-home workout journey.

Kettlebells: If you need more variety than weights themselves, kettlebell workouts can be fun while also toning your entire body.

Check out Facebook marketplace for cheaper options, as well as other home-workout equipment that might be helpful for you.

Just not sure which one you prefer.

It might take some trial and error, and experimentation to figure out if you prefer at-home workouts, going to the gym or a combined approach. If you don’t know which is right for you, try both – and eventually you’ll figure it out.

Tips for Success

Home vs. gym workouts: which one do you think is best for you?

Whether you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, or a new mom re-evaluating your “new normal” – it’s important to embrace that working out is going to be different with kids. 

There’s gonna be the inevitable mom-guilt that rears its’ ugly head. However, prioritizing self-care is important.

Some tips for success? 1) set realistic goals, 2) manage expectations, 3) celebrate small victories and progress, 4) listen to your individual preferences and needs, 5) experiment to discover the most efficient and effective workout. 

And lastly, use proper form and exercise safely. Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *